Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt also triggered something although not strictly to the prompt to write in the language we remember from home. I guess for me it has been too many years, and the differences are subtle ones. Much of Ontario was settled by Scots-Irish and English settlers. Much of the language doesn’t seem to have changed that much, other than the slang used. And my grandmother passed away in the 1970’s, more than 40 years ago! Mostly what I remember is just how much simpler everything was.
Not surprisingly, this poem has gone back to an earlier style of writing though, something closer to what I might have written back all those years ago.
Here are the prompt and my poem that it inspired:
NaPoWriMo Day 18
And now for our prompt (optional, as always)! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates “the sound of home.” Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore. My grandfather and mother, in particular, used several phrases I’ve rarely heard any others say, and I also absorbed certain ways of talking living in Charleston, South Carolina that I don’t hear on a daily basis in Washington, DC. Coax your ear and your voice backwards, and write a poem that speaks the language of home, and not the language of adulthood, office, or work. Happy writing!
I hear her voice yet now I can’t remember
as Granny’s words have faded over time.
Did she warn of snecking fingers in the window
or remind us be sure to latch the door?
She’d offer us fresh fruit on days mid-summer,
yellow with a blush of palest pink,
she’d call them peenches in her Scottish accent,
it was her word for peaches. At least, I think!
Mum was in the kitchen making sammiches.
She’d put ‘em in the icebox to keep cold.
Some days we’d get baloney, others, that funny spread,
or maybe she’d serve cream cheese with pineapple instead.
Was not so much the language I remember,
Granny’s lack of hearing twisted that.
More about the way that life was simpler.
We played outside and none of us were fat.
Hockey players lived just down the street.
We’d get their autographs when they drove by.
We knew the names of all six NHL teams,
In those days even girls saved hockey cards.
Carol A. Stephen
April 18, 2016